posted 00/00/2008

Directed by:
Eric Valette

Shannyn Sossamon ... Beth Raymond
Edward Burns ... Jack Andrews
Ana Claudia Talancón ... Taylor Anthony
Ray Wise ... Ted Summers

Country: Japan, USA, Germany
Runtime: 87 min
AKA: Don't Pick Up the Cell Phone!

Remakes can be good, don't get me wrong. But some should never even be attempted. The ridiculous The Fog remake comes to mind, as does the attrocious The Grudge. But I have found one movie that tops them all. You know "remakers" are running out of ideas when they decided to remake a so-so Japanese movie that didn't really get much praise or hype in the first place. One Missed Call could be considered the most recent entry into a long string of remake messes, or the first in short string of remakes that finally puts the horrible Ring-like remake curse to sleep forever.

The original film (there were two of them), directed by Takashi Miike, the mastermind director who is aparently a robot of some kind because he tirelessly cranks out five or six movies a year, wasn't anything special but Miike gave it his special touch, which made it stand out from the crowd a bit. This new American version is directed by Eric Valette and stars Shannyan Sossamon (A Knights Tale,Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) as Beth, a woman who's dopey friends are dropping dead mysteriously. Edward Burns (A Sound of Thunder, Saving Private Ryan), turns up in his first horror movie as a cop trying to help the gentle and fragile Beth save her friends and uncover the reason for their deaths.

How do they die? Well, they receive a mysterious phone call and when they don't recognize the number or ringtone, they leave it alone which leaves them with one missed call. Get it? Pretty clever title, huh? Anyway, there is always a voicemail left and when they check it, it is basically their last seconds of life being played out. And it always plays it exactly as they heard it. How is this happening? Can they track down the source of the paranormal trouble before Beth's time runs out? Who's behind all this? How many more movies are going to rip off the ridiculous concept perpetrated in The Ring?

Well, I'll tell you one thing, it has something to do with ghosts and creepy little girls, and some other stuff that doesn't make any sense. I saw the film, and I still don't understand what the hell was causing the problem. Frankly, I don't care to know. Ghosts can't get you through your cell phone (even though there have been many reports of people receiving calls from the dead in reality)! So without so much as a good reason behind it the film falls apart and we are unable to suspend our disbelief, because it gives us nothing to believe in. But believe it or not, this is even more unbelievable than asking us to believe a little girl who died in a well could make a haunted VHS tape! In other news, a remake is under way for a film about a little girl with long black hair that dies but is able to haunt all HD DVDS. Sucks for her. As for this film, rename it One Missed Rental.

- Jose Prendes


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